Student Accessibility Services | Trinity University
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Student Accessibility Services

Trinity University is committed to providing equal access and equal opportunity to students with disabilities. As a sign of that commitment, the office of Student Accessibility Services (SAS) and its coordinator, Myeshia Smith, are eager to assist students who seek accommodations.

Each year, SAS serves more than 100 students with documented disabilities (about 4% of the student body) who are registered with the office. These students have a variety of disabilities, the majority of which cannot be seen (e.g., AD/HD, learning disorders, psychiatric conditions, chronic medical conditions). Students who register with SAS receive accommodations which allow them to participate equally with their peers.

SAS promotes the empowerment of students with disabilities and their full integration into campus life. Students with disabilities encounter a developmental process of understanding and accepting their disability and related needs, fostering a sense of identity, and increasing their self-advocacy. Incoming students with disabilities—and their parents—will discover that college is very different from high school. These changes will alter the role and responsibilities of students and the process which they request accommodations. SAS stands ready to assist each student wherever s/he is in this process.

Upon experiencing Trinity's academic demands, which are typically more intense than those of high school, some students discover that they may have AD/HD or a learning disability. SAS can provide referrals to qualified diagnosticians in San Antonio. Additionally, screenings for AD/HD are available through Counseling Services, which is located in the same suite as SAS.

SAS for Prospective Students

College may provide some of the most exciting and memorable experiences you may have in your life. You will have greater rights and responsibilities as a college student. You will have more opportunities to be independent, to make your own decisions, and to determine which direction you will journey in your life. We look forward to working with you to ensure your transition to campus goes well and that accommodations are in place when you arrive on campus.

If you will be attending Trinity, please review the placement exams. You will be required to take some of the exams; others may be optional.

The following resources also contain very useful information for students with disabilities about the transition process from high school to college:

  • Indiana University produced The Big Difference, a document for students with disabilities that illustrates the major differences between high school and college.
  • The University of Washington's DO-IT program provides a video to high school students interested in pursuing college. In this video, college students with disabilities talk about the realities of college life, expectations, and transition.
  • The Heath Resource Center provides modules and fact sheets within its archived publications for both students with disabilities and their parents/guardians.

SAS for Parents and Families

As a parent/guardian, you play an important role in supporting your student’s progression into the adult roles s/he will assume during their college years. We encourage parents/guardians who have played active roles in your student’s accommodations in K-12 to join us in encouraging and supporting your student’s ability to self-manage her/his own accommodations and services. You can help your student successfully make this transition by encouraging independent living skills while s/he is still in high school.

Parents/guardians who have been very involved in their student’s education may be surprised to learn that privacy laws such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) may restrict their access to information at the college level, including files of students with disabilities. We recognize and value students’ rights to confidentiality and self-determination. If your student is 18 years of age or older, SAS can only release information to you if we first have a signed release form from your student. Without the signed release, SAS will be unable to share any information about your student with you, such as whether your student is meeting with SAS staff or using accommodations.

A little stressed? You’re not alone. For more information, check out these resources:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does Trinity have a special admissions policy for applicants with disabilities?

A: No. All students must meet the same minimum requirements for admission and go through the same competitive admissions process.

Q: Am I required to reveal my disability on my application?

A: No. You provide the information only if you wish to do so.

Q: Does Trinity provide services to students with disabilities?

A: Absolutely! In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Trinity strives to achieve equal access for all students.

Q: What kinds of services does Trinity provide for students with disabilities?

A: Trinity provides accommodations and supportive services for students with visual, hearing, learning, mobility, medical, and psychological impairments depending on the individual’s supporting documentation.

Q: Can I get a waiver for specific academic requirements (e.g., foreign language, math, PE, computer skills, etc.)?

A: Requests for modification of degree requirements should be submitted to the Coordinator of Student Accessibility Services. With documentation that a disability substantially impairs the ability to learn or perform in a specific area, the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs will consider alternative courses to meet the requirement.

Q: What does Trinity need from my doctor to accurately document my disability?

A: SAS provides documentation guidelines indicating what information is required from a student’s health care provider in order to be eligible to receive services. The documentation guidelines are available in the SAS office and online.

Q: Does Trinity offer on-campus testing to diagnose learning disorders, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), or psychological disorders?

A: No. Trinity does not offer diagnostic testing. However, SAS does have screening tools available to students who have concerns about AD/HD. SAS also has a list of off-campus diagnosticians to whom we frequently refer students for professional assessment.

Q: Where is disability services located on campus?

A: Student Accessibility Services is located within the office of Counseling Services in 215 Halsell Center, which is just beyond the Coates Library.